Monday, November 24, 2008

Creamy Pasta Sauce

Here is a recipe for creamy pasta sauce that I made up tonight for dinner. My husband liked it, and since he was raised on Italian food (his mom is half Italian), I feel quite complimented.

I usually make cream sauce to serve with grilled, sliced chicken over fettuccine. This recipe makes roughly enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

Creamy pasta sauce:

3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp basil
1/2 cup grated cheese (Tonight I used medium cheddar; feel free to experiment with what you have on hand.)

Mince or grate the garlic and saute it in the oil over low heat (the low heat is really important; it helps keep the sauteed garlic from becoming bitter) until it is golden brown. Whisk in the flour, mix well, and turn up the heat to medium. Quickly add the milk and water. Whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk, until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Add the salt, pepper, basil, and cheese. Continue stirring and cooking until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the consistency of a thin pudding.

Serve over pasta and enjoy!

This recipe has so much potential for variation. What about adding some tangy sun dried tomatoes, replacing the cheddar with a smaller portion of Parmesan or Asiago cheese for a stouter flavor or with pepper jack to have a sauce with a bit of kick, etc. How about leaving out the cheese entirely? Varying the spices? Serving it over macaroni or farfalle? Adding seasonal veggies, lightly steamed? Have fun. If you try something new with it, let me know. I just might like to try it too. ; )